In Honor of Obatala.
In Sheldon, South Carolina there is an Oyo Tunji village that has been in the area since the 1970’s. The village was started to carry on the beliefs of African ancestors in America. The first anointed king was Efuntola Oseijeman Adefinmi the 1st. His son Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi the 2nd is now reigning king since the death of Efuntola Oseijeman Adefinmi the 1st in 2005 if memory is accurate.
The shrines and temples in the village are dedicated to many Gods. Olo Bumare is the God of the universe with lower deities pertaining to man below him. A deal or bargain is made by the human soul in the afterlife with this God and if found worthy a flesh body is granted for a life on earth. This bargain for a flesh body is known as “Ara” and is the vessel that man finds himself inhabiting at birth. Before the soul makes it all the way to the material plane and through the birth canal of the universe its “Ara” encounters an unavoidable tree of forgetfulness. Contact with this tree causes the confusion that plagues mankind as we incarnate and begin navigating our material existence.
Obatala is one of nearly 400 deities worshipped in the local Oyo Tunji village. He is a male God and is associated primarily with world peace and the protection and prosperity of the village. All offerings to him are white in color and can take different forms. Water, candles, incense, and food are common offerings made in a regular Sunday ceremony praising Obatala. My offerings were 2lbs of fine grits in a white sack and a dozen white chocolate key-lime pie truffles. This seemed to be appreciated as food, water, dance, and community are among preferred offerings.
The doors to the temple of Obatala are opened and men and women dressed in all white garbs with music and dance usher into the altar and begin lighting candles before the offerings are made. The incense and water offerings are first because traditionally a portion of the food offerings to Obatala are placed on his shrine and the remainder divided and enjoyed among the villagers. As the opening prayers are made the offerings are placed and the dancing slows. A priest, usually an elder dressed also in white, makes prayers to Obatala for the guidance of humanity and for world peace then prays for the needs of the village and asks protection for the community. He makes a supreme offering of pounded yams called “Iyan” and the ceremony begins to close. Incense are distributed for a moment among the group dancing resumes, and the ceremony is closed. Afterward people gather in the temple common area and talk and eat creating a sense of fellowship within the community outside the temple to Obatala.
The Sunday ceremony dedicated to the deity Obatala that I attended was held mostly indoors because rain became problematic. After the ceremony I was given the opportunity to speak with several elders (both male and female) about the founding of the village and their spiritual beliefs. It felt like a special visit since they welcomed me out of the rain, sat me down in the common room, and provided an opportunity for me to connect to the views of the tribe. I found many similarities in what they believe and what I believe regarding the journey of the human soul. This is not an uncommon finding for me when I explore other cultures and I always feel blessed for the opportunity to speak with elders about their views and beliefs.
Im sorry I cant add more pics I have many but am too sad to add! LOL! I'd like to share this hoodoo experience with you all tho because roots to Dr. Buzzard are rare maybe encourage research to the coastal islands near! I love you all! Obatala is with you all strong !